Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tarte A La Rhubarbe

We're lucky to have a small rhubarb patch in the garden and that it produces a couple good crops each year. When we moved into the house, the rhubarb was not doing so well. I read that every five years, or when the stems are staying spindly, that it's time to divide the plants.

Trimmed and washed in the kitchen sink.

Well, our rhubarb certainly had spindly stems. So I dug them up, divided the rhizomes, and relocated them into what was supposed to become our perennial herb garden (that's another story). The first year, they didn't do very well at all, which I understand to be normal.

Peeled a bit, cut into sections, macerating in sugar.

But the second year they put up some very respectable stalks, and have done very nicely since. We'll be coming up on the five year mark in another year or two, so I'll have to keep an eye on them and decide when to divide again.

The finished pie. Not a thing of beauty, but tasty, nonetheless.

Springtime is rhubarb time and I've made one pie already. It's not the American two-crust version; it's a French recipe that uses a sweetened egg custard to hold the fruit together. The rhubarb is trimmed and macerated in sugar before it goes into the pie.

14 comments:

  1. This looks very like "Legendary Rhubarb Pie" that a friend gave me the recipe for a long time ago. The filling is a cake mixture, not a custard. The recipe comes from Canada but I have no idea why it's legendary. It's very tasty and now that I have been reminded of it I can't wait to make it again. We have a good rhubarb patch in our garden - it's in its third year and producing plenty of fruit.

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  2. My grandmother used to make rhubarb compote when I was a child. It was yummy.

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  3. Thank you, Walt! I had just been in the garden wondering how to use our rhubarb this Bank Holiday weekend. I made your apple tart so many times last year although I could never achieve the perfect way you arranged the slices! Can I ask if you cooked the rhubarb in the pie shell for a while first before you added the custard or if you put it in at the start? I sometimes added a custard to the apple tart for the last ten minutes or so when the fruit had nearly cooked so am not sure which to try first! Angela

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  4. angela, yes, the rhubarb went into the shell and cooked by itself for about 10-15 minutes before the custard went in.

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  5. Not a thing of beauty, you say. I completely disagree. It looks exactly like those informal paintings you see in upscale galleries that are worth millions. The downside of those paintings is they cannot be had ... and enjoyed for desert

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  6. I grew on this stuff! We had good-sized patch of it on the far western edge of our family garden behind the house. And my mom did everything possible to use it all up. Seems to have gone away in this day and age unless you grow it yourself.

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  7. Buy another bag of horse manure and chuck it round the rhubarb. It is what is known as a 'gross feeder' ie needs lots and lots of fertilizer.

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  8. You realise that if/when I visit France again, you'll be preparing all of these dishes for me, right?

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  9. Looks mighty yummy. Now, that's not an amandine, is it?

    Judy

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  10. that looks quite delicious...i'll have to try this!

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  11. John is the person who introduced me to the deliciousness of rhubarb. I need to get back to it. Rubarb-strawberry pie, so yummy! Thanks for the memories!

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  12. Thanks for all the great comments! And no, it's not an amandine.

    I've been seeing rhubarb in the markets here, but just a little. I think it's definitely a home garden thing these days.

    And yes, any visitors get to sample at least one of my pies. What kind will depend on the season...

    Susan, thanks for the tip!

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